Home > Counties > Government outlines key interventions to boost livestock farming

Government outlines key interventions to boost livestock farming

Livestock Principal Secretary Jonathan Mueke has said that the government is working on elaborate policies and measures aimed at creating an enabling environment for livestock production in the country which will lead to higher returns for farmers.

Among the key aspects are animal breeding and husbandry, fodder farming, value addition, and disease control.

Other interventions include the introduction of the farmers’ insurance programme, the creation and operationalization of the Kenya Leather Development Council and the establishment of regional dairy processing plants closer to the farmers and other stakeholders hence reducing production costs.

Speaking in Garissa where he led officials from the Veterinary Services, the Kenya Leather Development Council, and the Kenya Dairy Board among other agencies under his State Department, Mueke reiterated the importance of value addition on the livestock products which he said would bring more revenue and profit to the farmers.

According to Mueke, the move will create employment opportunities for thousands of people countrywide by ensuring that they create local brands from their resources.

On disease control, he said the government would open offices in the counties, and create laboratories for fast testing and quick reporting of outbreaks hence easy disease control.

“The government did a good job preventatively by purchasing 1.4 million vaccines for the 20 counties which were hotspots that we had identified to be at risk of the Rift Valley Fever and the blue tongue disease for the smaller cows. This intervention has worked because we only have one case which is yet to be confirmed from the laboratory tests,” Mueke said.

The National Assembly Livestock Committee chairperson and Tigania East MP John Mutunga urged livestock farmers to invest in skins and hides of their livestock.

Mutunga revealed that the leather-tanning industry would provide an avenue for higher returns and that the value of the entire animal is lower than the value of the skin.

“When the skin is processed and utilized for various purposes like the production of bags or shoes, it generates more value in terms of the different uses it can be put into, the potential of job creation, and the capturing of the global market,” Mutunga said.

“Kenya is only able to capture 0.14 per cent of the global market so we have not done much because the leather market is bigger than other markets. Worldwide, the leather industry is producing Sh130 billion dollars every year which means we are only getting around 140 million dollars a year which is not a lot,” he added.

Garissa Township MP Mohamed Dekow said that he would work on supporting farmers with improved breeds to produce milk and meat and ensure that the set-up processing plants keep running.

Dekow said that currently, Garissa town is receiving around 30,000 litres of milk from other regions and that with their milk factories for the local camel, goat, and cow milk, they would be able to use their local produce without deficiency.

By Erick Kyalo

Leave a Reply